A List of One-Party States

Asmara, Eritrea. Eritrea is seen as a one-party state.
Asmara, Eritrea. Eritrea is seen as a one-party state.

In a "one-party state", only one single political party is allowed to form and run a government. This system is also referred to as a one-party system, a single-party system, a single-party state or a de facto one-party state. 

The Seven Single-Party States

Democratic People's Republic of Korea

North Korea is a socialist state that follows the Juche and Songun ideologies. The Juche ideology forms the cornerstone of politics and governance, therefore, it provides a complete answer to all questions that may arise in the struggle during national liberation. The country is governed by Kim dynasty which will rule eternally according to the fundamental principles of the ruling party known as the Workers Party of Korea. The state controls all means and factors of production. Politics are led by the “Ten Principles of the Establishment of a Monolithic Ideological System.”

Lao People's Democratic Republic

The Lao People's Democratic Republic is a Southeast Asia country governed the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP). The landlocked country is a socialist state that openly endorses communist ideologies. The president is the General Secretary of LPRP while the prime minister heads the government. The leadership of the party is dominated by military personalities.

People's Republic of China

China is governed by one party known as the Communist Party of China. The country was declared a de facto one-party state with the president as the General Secretary. He chairs Central Military Commission, therefore, he is the paramount leader of the country. The leader has ultimate unquestionable power and authority and uses the people’s democratic dictatorship system. China follows the Leninist principle which advocates for democratic centralism.

Republic of Cuba

The sole political party existing in Cuba is the Communist Party of Cuba which is the “leading force of society and of the state.” As a socialist state, Cuba follows the Marxist-Leninist ideologies. The president is elected to office every five years and there is no limit as to the number of times he can vie for the seat. No political party is allowed to hold campaign meetings. Cuba is generally classified as an authoritarian regime.

Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic

The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic is a territory in dispute located in North Africa partially controlled by Morocco and the Polisario Front. Polisario is a nationalistic movement aimed at fighting for the independence of Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and stop the domination of Morocco. Although not a political party per se, it controls the politics of the country, therefore, it is considered as the single legitimate party that represents the Sahrawi people.

Socialist Republic of Vietnam

The only legal political party in Vietnam is known as the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV). The party centrally controls state organs, the media, and the military. The Vietnamese Fatherland Front party (VFF) exist without many powers because the constitution of Vietnam gives CPV the supremacy under Article 4. The Trong party is authoritatively headed by Nguyễn Phú Trong who is also its General Secretary and the Central Military Commission Secretary.

State of Eretria

In Eritrea, the only political party that can operate is the People's Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ). Any other political grouping is illegal. However, the 1997 constitution, which remains unimplemented, had granted multiparty politics. The single-party presidential republic has not held elections since independence.

Dangers of One-Party States

A one-party state has the monopoly of power, is authoritarian, and will sometimes violently suppress a political party that questions its ideologies. A single political party state lacks can sometimes lead to lack of transparency. The leaders may run amok due to lack of opposition leading to runaway spending, corruption, wastage of resources, and abuse of human rights.

A List of One-Party States

RankOne-Party States
1Democratic People's Republic of Korea
2Lao People's Democratic Republic
3People's Republic of China
4Republic of Cuba
5Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
6Socialist Republic of Vietnam
7State of Eritrea

More in World Facts